A historic streak fell to a barrage of great shooting Tuesday as EWE Baskets Oldenburg downed visiting Bilbao Basket of Spain 91-96 in the first Eurocup regular season loss ever for the visitors. Until Tuesday, Bilbao had won 22 straight regular season games over four separate seasons since debuting in the competition on November 25, 2008 with a victory against Hemofarm Stada. The streak ended when Robin Smeulders of Oldenburg ended a last-ditch Bilbao rally by making a layup with 3 seconds left, putting away the victory. Oldenburg not only ended the streak but tied Bilbao for first place in Group B, both with 4-1 records, at the halfway mark of the 10-game regular season. Game-long marksmanship was the difference for the winners, who made 15 of 26 three-point shots. Rickey Paulding made 5 of 6 from downtown to lead Oldenburg with 21 points, while Nemanja Aleksandrov, Julius Jenkins and Chris Kramer made 3 triples each among their 35 points combined. Axel Hervelle led Bilbao with 19 points, while Dairis Bertans added 15, Raul Lopez 12 and Antanas Kavaliauskas 11, including 9 in the final quarter as he tried to rally the visitors, but came up short.
A pair of early three-pointers by Aleksandrov shot Oldenburg in front, 11-6. Bilbao used 6 points in a row by Hervelle to go ahead 16-17 before Jenkins, Kramer and Adrea Crosariol combined for a 9-2 run that left Oldenburg in charge, 25-22, after 10 minutes. Triples by Konrad Wysocki, Paulding and Jenkins, who hit 2 more, boosted the difference to 40-31 midway through the second quarter. Bilbao used three-balls from Bertans, Raul Lopez and Zoran Vrkic to stay close but a 7-2 run that ended with Kramer's triple on the halftime buzzer restored a 51-44 advantage for the hosts. Oldenburg's hot shooting continued with Aleksandrov and Paulding each hitting from deep to open the second half with a 57-44 advantage. Bilbao rallied to within 66-61 before Adam Chubb and Jenkins led another end-of-quarter charge for a 76-66 Oldenburg edge. Kavaliauskas and Lopez scored the first 6 points of the final quarter, but Paulding answered with his fourth and fifth three-pointers to make it 82-72 with 5:29 to play. Hervelle sparked a final Bilbao rally with 5 points in a row. Despite Oldenburg's perfect free throw shooting, Kavaliauskas and Lopez were able to combine on a 0-7 run in the final 2 minutes that cut the difference to 89-6 with 6 seconds left. But when Smeulders got loose for a layup with 3 seconds left, it meant that the visitors had run out of time. Their streak ended five years and 22 games after it started to a deserving Oldenburg team and its home crowd.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013